California’s failed renewable energy programs

If you live in California, you’re likely all too familiar with all of California’s green and renewable energy initiatives. Many of these eco-friendly programs are funded by taxpayer’s dollars. However, I’m going to let you in on a little secret that California doesn’t want you to know. Many of the renewable energy programs in California are dysfunctional at best.

Last week, I decided to take a trip to Death Valley National Park. In the 500 miles of driving I did, I passed by two wind farms. The first wind farm I passed was small, only containing about a dozen wind turbines. Because the turbines were built on top of a hill, it was easy for me to drive and keep an eye on the turbines for a couple minutes. None of them were turning. That’s right, not a single wind turbine was turning, and that means no electricity was being generated at all.

Later, I passed a much larger wind energy farm, containing at least a few hundred wind turbines. I kept a close eye on them, and I’d guess that only about 10 percent of them were turning. It appeared that many weren’t even pointed in the right direction to capture any wind. Maybe it wasn’t a very windy day, but it looked like an absolute economic disaster.

The fact of the matter is that the technology needed to make reliable, clean, renewable energy just isn’t here yet. Sure, there are reliable sources like hydroelectric dams, but California’s wind energy programs are a complete failure. There is absolutely no excuse to have a wind farm where barely any of the wind turbines were spinning at all. On my way back a few days later, perhaps 25 percent of the turbines were functional. Still, I shudder to think of how many tax payer’s dollars are wasted on trendy yet dysfunctional systems. The state of California is nearly broke, and the taxes have been increased very recently. Yet the state still manages to lose an incredible amount of money to projects that barely work.

Posted under Politics, Saving Electricity, Technology

Solar power is not the answer to your problems!

If you have high electricity bills every month, chances are you’ve thought about installing some sort of solar power solution for your home. There is a lot of buzz about renewable energy sources, but the cold hard truth is that it probably isn’t the best solution to your problems. First of all, a decent sized solar power solution for your home can cost several tens of thousands of dollars. The very notion that anyone would want to spend thirty thousand dollars just to reduce their electricity bill is borderline insane! Many websites are happy to tell you that you can sell your unused energy back to the electric company. In reality, this is only a half-truth. In actuality, whether you can sell your excess electricity or not is governed by your state and even county laws.

For example, if you live in California, you are only allowed to sell your excess electricity to the power company up until a certain point. If you produce more electricity than you use for any given month, all that extra energy is given to the electric company as a gift…and they’ll still charge you five dollars a month to come out and read your meters. That’s right, you read that correctly. It doesn’t matter if you give your power company $200 of excess electricity, you will never see that money. Instead, you’ll just be charged 5 dollars. The point that I’m trying to make here is that you have to carefully research the laws in your state. You can’t just assume you’ll be able to sell power and make money, because in some states like California, that’s impossible due to laws.

Okay, I’ve already established that solar power is expensive, and would probably take many years to pay itself off, if ever. So what is the solution to drive down your energy costs? As it turns out, there are a million things you can do to reduce your electricity consumption. These things include everything from turning down your air conditioner to lowering the temperature of your water heater. Honestly, if you’re paying a fortune every month for electricity, chances are great that you are wasting electricity. If you want to save money the right, and cheap way, it’s best to stop wasting electricity! For more information, please check out my section on how to save electricity.

Posted under Saving Electricity

This post was written by admin on September 1, 2008

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